Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Queen Street Mile back on Easter Monday

Sir John Walker. Photo / NZPA
Sir John Walker. Photo / NZPA

Auckland's Queen St mile race is to return after a 30-year absence.

Olympic gold medallist Sir John Walker is behind the organisation of what he hopes will be an annual event, called the Queen Street Golden Mile, starting on Easter Monday, April 1, next year. The event will raise money for his Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation charity.

Unlike the earlier street miles, which focused on elite athletes, next year's event will also be open to the public.

Auckland Council will back the event for three years. Mayor Len Brown, who joined Walker in announcing the event, said it was not intended to rival the popular Round the Bays fun run or Auckland Marathon. Numbers would be capped to 4500 for the first year.

Organisers are in talks with Nick Willis, New Zealand's Olympic medallist, but the new course means the race record of Kenyan Mike Boit won't be broken. The race will start on Mayoral Drive and finish on Queens Wharf. The old start was on Karangahape Rd, with runners taking a sharp right-hand turn on to the steepest section of Queen St.

In the last race held in 1983, Boit took 3min 28.3sec. It was his first attempt at a street mile and remains the fastest time recorded over the distance.

The Queen Street mile was first run in 1972, lapsing for 10 years before it was re-run in 1982 and 1983.

Queen Street Mile records

1972: Tony Polhill (NZ) in 3m 47.6s.

1982: Steve Scott (USA) in 3m 31.25s.

1983: Mike Boit (Kenya) in 3m 28.3s.

Fastest time for a track mile:

3m 43.13s, set by Hicham El Guerrouj, of Morocco, in 1999.

- APNZ

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